Friday, February 5, 2016

Back in the black

Hey hey it's friday.
Notice what I did there with that rhyme?

Yup it's the little things this morning.
Like having a hallway to walk through in our basement that doesn't showcase peach tile and a concrete wall and 2x4's.

I love renovating and fixing things up but I am not good with the in between process as I am sure many of you are the same.

So to recap for the newbies, our basement flooded last July when we were on holidays and we had to do a bit of a gut job to get things back to normal and be mould free.

In December I shared this gem

and for my insta followers you got a sneak peek of a date night in December

we clad the wall that needed to come down in a plywood shiplap of sorts.
we just bought 1 smooth size plywood from lowes, had the guy cut it into 8" strips so we didn't have to use our table saw in the snow and nailed it to the 2x4's.
i filled the nail holes with compound and then the hallway got repainted.

you can also see our flooring had been replaced at this point with a vinyl also from lowes that has the appearance of hand scraped wood.

vinyl why?
it handles any basement moisture and up and down concrete floors like a champ.
as we seem to have bad luck and have hopefully fixed any further concerns with flooding with multiple pumps, back ups for the pumps we still were not going to put any kind of laminate or hardwood down here.
our ceiling height is not great and trev is 6'4" so with the drop ceiling adding hardwood would have also meant dry core and thats almost 2 inches of more lost space height wise so,
vinyl it is. (plus can't beat the price comparably)

and now.....

our hallway is back together.

and sammy is pleased as punch about it.
the remaining bit in the hallway to complete is the stair runner. it is clean but doesn't look it. it suffered a terrible fate from the removal process and work boots stomping up and down it. i am not ready to remove it however until i find exactly what i am looking for.

not much changed decor wise with the hallway as i loved how it looked with the black and family photos. i am really loving the subtle accent of the shiplap wall though with the black.

Well that's it for part one of our basement reveal.

More to come next week

Have a fantastic weekend everyone,


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

I caved for winter....

and made some hanging wall art for our upstairs hallway for our winter refresh after i removed all the christmas decor and tree.

once i started hanging them up in the shop and enjoying them there i knew i was going to lose the battle with making more for myself to enjoy at home as well.

so i did and i love it.
i kept the table decor simple on the console table and i left the red grain sack for the time being surrounded by only 2 for now mounted wall art.

we'll see how long i leave it at 2. very convenient for watering however as i just use the shower down the hall. spray them and hang them back up.

i broke off a bunch of cotton blossoms and made a tight cotton ball on the top of this crock for texture but not too much more colour as i wanted your eye to be drawn to the calligraphy brushes

and since we are close by,

a sneak at winter in the bedroom.
not too much change from christmas other than the removal of the red and simplifying with wool and grey

The winner of the Kohl's gift card from the mexican fiesta is Cara O'Connor.
If you could please email me at to claim your prize.

Have a great day everyone


Monday, February 1, 2016

What if they don't all love water?

It seems many of you are curious how some of planter creations come together or you just like looking at interesting arrangements. Here at Oliver and Rust we love to hear that and of course me especially as plants is a good part of what I do.

It was time for a new counter arrangement at the shop to reflect what was going on in the arrangement bar and since I kind of knew the look I was going for and my camera was with me last week when I made this I thought I would share a little how to.

This how to can be done by anyone but it helps if a planter this size wasn't your first ever. It doesn't mean you can't do it by no means, like I always say plants are just a constant learning experience. ( I am currently in battle mode with overwintering some eugenia topiaries that are fighting me every step of the way)

Let's begin

pick a vessel.
i used a large old rusty separator.

separator means there is holes in the bottom like a strainer so i added sheet plastic and then an inch of rock to provide drainage so that if someone decides to overwater the water has somewhere to sit instead of all around the plants roots.

choose your plants wisely grasshopper.
we have a mildly tropical mirage going on in the shop with a focus on terrarium style plants so orchids, ferns ie. staghorn, maidenhair, rabbits foot, autumn and others like this
and set them up kind of how you think you want to plop them in your container.
it's easier to do this arranging part prior to removing pots and throwing mud all over the place with dirty hands, phone dinging, dog stealing the plastic pots. 
-just my experience?

now comes the mildly tricky part.
most of the plants in my arrangement are low-ish light and like to be watered every few days. but i knew i wanted to add succulents to this mix as well so how we curb the overwatering is plant them in a SEPARATE PLASTIC POT that you insert afterwards.
you want to gently pry your root balls apart on all plants prior to putting it in the new soil as it will force your plants to try to grow outwards in their new home.

make sure your pot fits and the plants you want to use will fit in it. this can go the other way as well. if you are doing a large succulent planter and want to put an orchid in for instance. leave the orchid in its pot and plant the others.

plant your little babies up with the appropriate soil type for them. potting soil, cactus soil etc. i love using small scoops or spoons to shove tiny bits of dirt into places without making too much of a mess especially at home. you can still see the growers pots in the photos above so now we topcoat with moss or gravel to cover this up and voila your planter is ready for display.
this is a good time to water your planter as you have just disrupted the roots of your plants. and mist if you are doing a tropical style planter with ferns.

you get a really good view of the giant stag horn fern i added sideways in this photo. i tipped it more than planted it upright to give the whole arrangement 360 degrees of flow.

the little spiky bits on the lower left and centre are tillandsia air plants that i added in afterwards for more texture. if you add air plants to your display don't forget to water them separately. don't know how? CLICK HERE

and finally the finished up new counter display. large and in charge.

and for shoppers going into the shop, that bowl of PF Candles on the counter is the discontinued scents and they are 20 bucks each.

the rest of the line has been restocked in all your favourites including
teakwood & tobacco (store fav)
patchouli & sweetgrass
sweet grapefruit
amber & moss
frankinsense & oud (one of my favs)

and new bits, we have them in reed diffusers as well for the flame conscious.
they aren't too strong that they overpower everything but add the perfect amount of smell to a space

and behind them you can see
authentic school botanical charts printed by the same company in Germany that has been printing them since the 60's. these are real school style charts with no text so that they could be used all over the world regardless of language.

Have a great day everyone


Saturday, January 30, 2016

THE NIAGARA LOCAL: foodies & shoppers unite

Getting off the decor train still a bit today as  we go in a different direction.

For my long time followers you are quite aware of my outlying foodie and wine obsessions. I love to cook, I mean really love it. Creating recipes is just about the best thing in the world next to decorating for me and when I don't have time, hunting out new restaurants in our area comes in great second. I also really love foodie movies. Just a side note there as I watched Burnt with Bradley Cooper last night and really enjoyed it.

Trevor and I work disastrously hectic schedules (of our own making) but that doesn't make it any less stressful somedays as we live our dreams of being self employed. Dinner time for us is 9pm. If we make it before that it is a good day.

Eating out is our time to reconnect, enjoy some wine or beer from the local craft breweries.
I have become a huge fan of dark beer over the last year and there is nothing like enjoying beer and wine directly from the makers. The pride and effort that goes into making these places unique and comfortable is evident everywhere you go.
I am also fortunate to have an adventurous eating husband that follows along with my hunt for new food and bevies.

We live in an amazing area for all of these things and I thought it high time I introduced you or refreshed you to one of the sources I use to find these great places.

The Niagara Local is a website written by Kyla Pennie and Vanessa Deeg.

They themselves have strived to make an in depth guide to the ins and outs of the Niagara food, drink and culture scene. 
The photography is out of this world as Kyla takes new photos and learns the ins and outs of her new camera. 

Seriously check out this burger photo for the The Guilty Burger in St. Catharines and I'm not even a huge burger girl. Melting goodness.

They have also started making maps that allow you to start a tour of Niagara including  a butter tart map 
(yes i said a butter tart map)

maps to all the farmers markets, culinary tours and my favourite a local craft beer tour found under the tour tab on their website.

 silversmith brewery in virgil

the good earth in beamsville. an excellent escape for a lovely lunch and the scenery is quite delightful as well. trevor and i usually go here for our birthday lunch every year.

There are bits from their travels including inns like the Mad Maple inn


a new addition to the site is the SHOP LOCAL phenom that, yup you guessed it
Oliver and Rust features a part in.

The ladies were here last weekend for a few hours and were causing quite a stir of excitement taking photos in the shop and moving some of our great new finds around including me.

So on these weekends of winter when you don't feel like throwing a mad mexican fiesta then maybe scope out a new goodie that you might fall in love with to add to your old standby's.

Have a great weekend everyone,


ps- i'm glad some of you that follow along on Facebook took my dancing video seriously as there have been a few bust a move instances in the last few days. I LOVE IT!
YOLO [ do people still say that? always behind i tell ya]

Thursday, January 28, 2016

No stress one pot potluck entertaining.... it exists

Entertaining during the holidays is wonderful but always laden with the extra pressure and stress we put on ourselves. We dress up more, buy more centrepieces, spend more time preparing and the whole night usually goes wonderfully and ends the same way at our place, crowded around a stereo listening to great music.

Entertaining after the holidays feels simpler and is the perfect time to catch up with all the people you couldn't squeeze in between reunions, work parties and exhaustion.

Trevor and I love entertaining and our our home lends a pretty good layout to doing so.

Today's post is actually a sponsored post but in Oliver and Rust style with something you can use or might be interested in as I don't do these very often.
 Kohl's approached me quite some time ago to see if I would be interested in doing a spring refresh for them. After we got past the "I'm in Canada" and the "it's winter here" dilemma to make sure we're all on the same page I was excited to participate in freshening up some area of my home.

I am going to be honest here, these things are hard for me  even with someone else's money to spend. Finding exact things I want that won't just be disposable was tough for me. It may seem that I am flighty fancy with my stuff especially now with the shop but that just isn't the case. I am a lover.
When I find something I love I must have it but, then I have a hard time getting rid of it. Since getting the shop we have gone top to bottom in our home and organized and sorted so many things from when we had our first home, things we might use one day and we are finally down to the end with things we love and only things we love are allowed in now.

When our basement flooded this past summer it forced us into this and I guess it was the silver lining as now I feel better about what we have in our home and our storage areas.

So, to my point here.
Kohl's has a lot of great home stuff, pillows, signs, bedroom, bathroom stuff rows and rows of it but I couldn't get a concesus of enough items I LOVED for me to make an entire post. Things you could rest assured I actually will be using in my home daily and not just because someone asked me to.


Trevor walked into the kitchen area and found a big square BURRITO PAN.
no it isn't called that but if you've been reading here for any length of time you know our obsession with mexican food and burritos in general.
and I had just walked into the placemat area and fallen in love with some round jute placemats.

"What if we do an entertaining post and invite some people over for mexican?"
I love that man.

*and just so we're clear. after we picked up these goodies we did go to chipotle mexican grill for burritos. oh yes we did*

Therefore we give you the ingredients to bringing about a fabulous mexican potluck night.

good friends
great music....

bobby flay press (this gets your burritos nice and crisp on the outside and semi flat for easier eating, also useful for quesadillas, flautas, bacon, panini's you get the point)
dos equis (ahem yes it's required)
great bear bottle opener (to open the previous ingredient, cause no one just wants to stare at it)
(which we will use a lot)

and a fun set table.
i had to work late the night we did this so it became a potluck dinner.
our friends brought the appetizer which almost killed us
(she made the best most amazing tasting jalapeƱo poppers but when she boiled them she did so with the seeds in. i have never eaten so many hot things in a row and kept going. our heads were smoking but we were killing ourselves laughing. we hadn't made the sangria yet so the pitcher became a huge water vessel because we were guzzling at that point)

we used a red grain sack for the runner, added the new jute placemats and i bought a bunch of colourful carnations at the grocery store for some mexican festive fun. i can never decide when i grab carnations, retro or tacky. but i think when they are kept to like colours in each vase and mounded they look kind of fresh and the colours suited this evening perfectly.

there are only pictures of this lovely table pre-food consumption as once the salsa and sour cream come all bets are off and we were busier wiping food off our faces and the table to grab the camera.

but i did manage some steaming action shots of the food before we dived in.

including the double press action happening in the pan. i think trevor is happier than anyone about the second press now and bigger pan.

We finished the night off with churro cupcakes (also no evidence, especially since Franklin made it his mission to swipe all the wrappers everyone kept setting on the table.)

All in all with the winter days still short and being generally banished to the house at night it is the perfect time of year to wrangle in some friends and have a night of enjoying each others company. There is no shame in not doing it all and delegating people into bringing some bits of the meal. Most people don't mind and if taking some of the time and pressure off ensures you can enjoy your night, more power to you.

Now because like I said Kohl's sponsored me to get some killer new entertaining gear, they are being generous enough to give me a $100.00 gift card to give away.
Just leave a comment and Franklin will pick the winner out of a bowl.

Local followers, our closest Kohl's is in Amherst and they do ship using a shipping partner.

Have a great day everyone,


*this post was sponsored by kohl's but all opinion are my own as usual*

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Our winter home even though it keeps raining

Afternoon all.

A little wander around our winter home on the main floor today. After Christmas is over it is always nice to have a clean space again with less stuff. I love the stuff of the holidays, the glitter, the elves but come new years I am ready to box it back up again. I realize that talking about new years when it is almost Groundhog day is a little silly but timing hasn't always been my thing on this here blog. I'm sure we can still enjoy some photos though.

Let's start in the dining room,

 a simple table with a slightly (notice i said slightly) colourful table runner and white & gold votives

 i hung some simple book page wreaths on the doors as my lack of love for the wreaths i am finding lately is overpowering. i don't love wreaths when they are overly done or overly fake looking and i like something different than just plain grapevine sometimes. it is on my list of things to find for the shop as well

i am super happy with this new table runner i got. it was part of the christmas collection at #potterybarn and a girlfriend and i were in toronto and it was on sale so i scooped it up. shopping at pottery barn in canada is a crap shoot. this runner on sale was still in the 70+ dollar range but i had a gift card. the regular prices at our pottery barns here are almost 40% sometimes higher and it sucks. even if you flip on the website the 69.00 runners jump to 125.00. i love pottery barn but shopping from it in canada is ridiculous. i realize about duties and freight etc but it is a huge difference. i actually went into the store to check out the leather irving armchair. (it's quite lovely btw) and the sticker price in the USA is 1099.00, at the store is was 1900 something (1951.00 on the website for those curious) and the saleslady tried to beat me up saying they were changing all the tags that day and the chair was going up to 2400.00 so i should buy it now.
i laughed
then i walked away
an almost 1400 difference for crossing a border.
ok rant over.
because i still love my runner.

and into the living room...

this area of our living room gets a lot of use this time of year for nightly chats, morning coffee, email answering, business planning etc with the fireplace being right there and all

another one of my planters i made at the beginning of the season. this jar is actually a very old antique battery jar we found a few years ago while out hunting for goodies

we have a few hydrangea trees in our yard that i left all the blooms on and have now dried into sculptural beauties. i cut a few and added them to some more of our demijohn display for some whimsy if you will or height if you want to be frank.

a gardenia about to bloom and these grey smoky candleholders i added to my collection from the shop. 

our winter 2016 mantel.

pillows for this season. vintage botanical and ticking, ralph lauren stripe, african mud cloth, vintage mail bags and a smidgen of wool and a smidgen of hemp. all different, all blended together. franklin is partial to laying on the wool ones.

the front foyer...

 " am i doing it right mum? i hear you're supposed to give a little head tilt for the most attractive photo. i mean i don't want to be a selfie snob but this looks good right?"

Have a great day everyone,


again it's been awhile my audiophile friends

What I'm Listening to:
Brown Skin Girl: Leon Bridges
No Room in Frame: Death Cab for cutie